Calls on CBN to develop rural agriculture
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The National Coordinator of Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society, NFGCS, Redson Tedheke, Sunday, said the Fulanis deserve Federal Government’s attention and intervention to increase milk production and reduce the cost of importation of the commodity.
This was the assertion of the National Coordinator, NFGCS, Redson Tedheke, while in a telephone interview with Vanguard, while expressing concern over slow growth and development of rural agricultural activities.
He also urged the Northern State governments to look inwards on how to harness the massive agricultural potential that they have from God by investing massively to empower their farmers and attract private sector investments with the provision of necessary amenities including light, water, road, security, and mouth-watering incentives, and also added that their goldmine is in agribusiness.
He said: “What the North-East needs now is agriculture, rail, and good road. Every northern State must develop their agro capacity. Look at American, British development and western development was all agrarian.
“Holland got a hundred billion dollars from agriculture every year. Under Buhari’s administration, we got $100 billion from crude oil in four years that was the amount of money Holland made from agriculture in a year.
“Australia does $60 billion every year from cow milk. In Nigeria here the only thing we do with the Fulani man is to demonise the Fulani man instead of us to look at the capacity of the Fulani as a culture, an attitude, an opportunity we have made them a problem.
“When you go to the United States a Cow Boy is a ‘Fulani man’ in context and in Nigeria we buy the Cow Boys’ music and what the Cow Boy has is more than a hundred billion economies because the Americans have built their economy around a ‘Fulani man’ in their own country and every year the Americans smile with $500 billion to the bank from the cowboy industry. In Nigeria, the Fulani man is vilified while he is an asset.”
Meanwhile, the NFGCS’ helmsman who has been deeply engaged in producing food to feed the nation on over 3, 000 hectares of land with different agribusiness value chains including rice, yam, livestock, fishery, poultry, maize, beans, melon, vegetable, kenaf including the construction of N20 million dam and others, which is located at Ga’ate, Kokuna Local Government of Nasarawa State, said there is much for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to do to change the narrative in rural agricultural development by making commercial banks key into it for greater productivity and infrastructural development.
“Nigerian banks do not understand the concept of localized developmental economy and they want to make money and is good they make money and I also do not blame them too much because the Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN, has not done enough because if you want the local bank to lend to farmers, to lend with easy, go and tell the local banks to give to farmers and you the CBN colaterise them.
“America would always pride itself as a capitalist economy and individual driven economy, in the last two months they gave first to small businesses $350 billion, and then they gave them another $455 billion, and we are hearing that they are now earmarking another $500 billion. So the government in the US in the last two has given about $800 billion and they want to give them more money.
“What the CBN should do is to tell the commercial banks to identify the local people who are interested in local cottage development and lend, we will give you a blanket guarantee at the back, however, don’t lend to politicians, pastors and imams because politicians, pastors, and imams are the biggest problems we have and when they are eliminated from the lending process the people will make productive because right now the banks are lending to them.
“The N50 billion from CBN will not get too small businesses and it will end in the hands of politicians. CBN should put their money where their mouth is but are now putting their money where politicians are”, he stated.
He also lamented that “Small businesses in Nigeria are suffering, struggling, dying, provide their infrastructure, source for finance, look for their own market, see how to survive and that is wrong for a nation that needs small businesses to implement her policies.”
He also added that the Ga’atevest App, which is a solution platform designed by NFGCS would afford Nigerians home and abroad key into a vision that is bigger and larger because it solves the problem of micro-financing in the agricultural sector.